As the world celebrates the 2022 World Maritime Day, the Federal government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to cut its carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050.
To achieve this, the government is advocating the use of new technology in shipping with a view to reduce the damage done to the atmosphere from emitted carbon dioxide.
Speaking at the World Maritime Day celebration held in Lagos on Thursday, Minister of Transportation, Engr. Muazu Sambo said Nigeria is duty bound to contribute to global efforts to ensure a safe environment in all sectors, including shipping.
He said the need for new technology to drive the maritime sector has not only become necessary but imperative following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected global trade.
To achieve a green transition of the maritime industry into a sustainable future in line with the IMO theme of the 2022 WMD, Sambo said there is also need for strong partnership with private sector operators to invest in more modern platforms and assets which will meet the emission levels of the future.
He said the government is committed to the actualization of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to offer a veritable platform for the acquisition of newer vessels by indigenous operators.
The Minister therefore called on private sector operators who are the beneficiaries of government policies put in place to address carbon emissions to deploy adequate resources and technology to address emerging technologies in partnership with the government.
“IMO’s identification of partnerships and information sharing on best practices as well as unfettered access to resources as being critical to the transition of the maritime sector into a greener and more sustainable sector is not by coincidence. This partnership must be cultivated globally and nationally.
“For us as a nation, the entire maritime community has a role to play in bringing about a greener and sustainable maritime industry in the areas of resource mobilization, maritime training, awareness, job creation and full implementation of maritime laws and regulations,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Transportation, Mr Ademola Adegoroye, said to attain greener shipping, it was imperative that new technologies be embraced through aggressive technology transfer, research and development, innovations and partnership.
Also speaking, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, said Nigeria plans to cut its Greenhouse Gas emissions intensity by 20 percent by 2030 and a further 45 percent reduction conditional on receiving climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
He said as Nigeria’s agency responsible for regulating shipping, NIMASA has developed measures to protect the marine environment from impact of shipping activities.
These measures according to him, “include taking steps to ensure ships comply with the IMO 0.5 percent sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships, delineating emission control and slow steaming areas in Nigeria’s ports and its approaches and establishing a National Technical Committee on Green House Gas emission reduction and decarbonisation.”
He said Nigeria will adopt a National Action Plan in 2023 that will ensure that the National Technical Committee on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships will be strengthened and tasked to develop a clear and achievable plan.
He said there would also be provision of incentives and financial mechanisms to shipping companies, port operators, and others in the maritime value chain to invest in new enterprise and innovative solutions.
“NIMASA will act by mobilising and facilitating fiscal policies and financial mechanisms – including donor initiatives to support energy efficiency and emission reduction initiatives focused on ships, port infrastructure, and other key areas,” he said.
Jamoh added that Nigeria needs global and regional cooperation and partnerships to transition to a net zero carbon emission future in shipping to share good practices and information, create synergies, and leverage expertise.
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Muhammed Bello- Koko noted that bringing environmental efficiency and digitisation to the maritime industry was a duty everyone owed the habitat.
“Realising that automation is the pillar of port efficiency, we are working assiduously under the technical guidance and consultancy of the IMO to deploy the Port Community System (PCS).
“This will afford us the platform needed to develop a cocktail of digital solutions that can make ships more energy-efficient, reduce pollution, and ensure the global competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports through eco-friendly services,” he said.